Honours B.A. (Toronto), M.St. (Oxford), Ph.D. (McGill)

Dr. Stemp is a Professor of Anthropology who joined the faculty in the Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology in the fall of 2004. He is an anthropological archaeologist whose research focuses on ancient stone tool technology, specifically that of the ancient Maya. Dr. Stemp is the Director of the Surface Metrology and Archaeological Research Technologies [SMART] Project at Keene State College and the Director of the Ancient Maya Blood-letting [AMBl] Project at Keene State College.


Currently, Dr. Stemp is engaged in a number of research projects, including:

– Lithic analysis of the stone tool assemblages of the Lowland Maya at the sites of Minanha, Ixchel, Waybil, Martinez, and Pook’s Hill in Belize.

– Lithic technology in the Preceramic period of Belize and the transition to the first Maya.

– The development of  methods to quantify use-wear on stone tools using laser profilometry, laser scanning confocal microscopy and fractal geometry.

– The ritual use of stone tools from ancient Maya caves and rockshelters in Belize.

– The symbolic and ritual use of obsidian by the ancient Maya.

– Lithic technology in the Maya Late Postclassic – Early Spanish Colonial Period in Coastal Belize.


He has excavated sites in Canada and Great Britain, but has spent most of his archaeological career digging in Belize, Central America. He has previously taught anthropology and archaeology at the University of Victoria (Victoria, British Columbia, Canada), Trent University (Peterborough, Ontario, Canada), the School for Continuing Studies at the University of Toronto (Toronto, Ontario, Canada), Durham College (Oshawa, Ontario, Canada), and Nipissing University (North Bay, Ontario, Canada). He has analyzed lithic assemblages from Canada, Great Britain, Croatia, and Belize.


Dr. Stemp regularly teaches:

ISANTH 110: Cultural Anthropology
ISANTH 111: Archaeology and Physical Anthropology
ANTH 314: World Prehistory
ANTH 318: The Ancient Maya
ANTH 321: Lithic Technology
ANTH 323: Anthropology of Conflict and Violence


 Contact Information:

W. James Stemp

Professor of Anthropology

Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology

Keene State College

229 Main Street

Keene, NH


Phone: 603-358-2902

E-mail: jstemp@keene.edu









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